Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Big Blue assume it will be 'game on'

But still possible Argo tilt could be tubed

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The  Winnipeg Blue Bombers are proceeding with business as usual, but the dark storm clouds gathering could put a serious dent in their training-camp plans.

And their bottom line.

The ongoing labour impasse between the league and the CFL Players' Association has led to growing speculation Monday's pre-season game against the Toronto Argonauts at Investors Group Field could be in jeopardy if the Bombers or Argos decide to strike.

'In my mind there's a game on Monday. You can't speculate'

-- Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea

Seven of the nine CFL teams have already taken strike votes, with the Edmonton Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders scheduled to conduct their votes this afternoon. That means the earliest the Alberta-based clubs could take action would be next Tuesday.

But the other CFL clubs are already believed to have a strike vote in hand while the three Ontario-based teams are conducting another strike vote this weekend to include rookies.

"In my mind there's a game on Monday," said Bomber head coach Mike O'Shea. "You can't speculate."

The Bombers have only one CFLPA rep -- Glenn January -- after Chris Cvetkovic retired in the off-season. January was given the day off by O'Shea to deal with a family-related personal situation and will be back in camp today.

The loss of Monday's game not only hits the Bombers financially, having only one pre-season game might also affect their evaluation. That notion was shot down by O'Shea.

"I don't think it changes anything," he said. "We're going to evaluate the players that put the plays on film and go from there. It's not really worthwhile speculating on it. We coach the game, coach the players and evaluate from there."

The silver lining here? Both the CFL and CFLPA were relatively quiet on Friday rather than firing shots across each other's bows, leading some to think the two sides may be exchanging proposals again and getting to some serious negotiating.

"It was united the last time we voted and we're confident that all the players are going to be united in this next vote," Hamilton Tiger-Cats CFLPA rep Brian Bulcke told the Hamilton Spectator. "We want to play football. Nobody wants to strike."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 7, 2014 C1

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